Dealing with a Pandemic A Challenge For Residential Adjustment Center


During this pandemic, it is not recommended for anyone to be outside unless it necessary. The only people that are allowed out are essential workers. Cities have shut down, non-essential people currently out of work, and schools have switched to online learning.

Times are hard right now and people seem to be adjusting. What about the people who cannot adjust to this new change? The ones who are taking this quarantine the hardest are the people who are mentally and developmentally challenged.

As an essential business, Life Adjustment Center is a non-profit agency that provides services for the mentally and developmentally challenged. They are known as individuals at the company. The company provides comprehensive person-centered care at its Residences and Day Habilitation Center.

The Residential Coordinator is not only in charge of the supervisors and staff that deal with the individuals, but she is also in charge of scheduling the individual’s activities, meetings and appointments. Individuals go on trips, they have the Day Program, some of them even have their own jobs.

Usually when dealing with people with disabilities, there is a schedule that they follow especially when they are used to doing this for many years. This pandemic came along and changed the game for everyone.

Although the business is open and still running, the individuals  are still not allowed to leave unless it is for an appointment.

A major change like this pandemic can really affect them mentally. According to The Council of State Governments, individuals with disabilities may be more affected by disruption of services like access to education, information, and steady employment.

“I want to go back outside, but the corona is bad out there,” one individual told their staff member.

The company has taken extra precautions to ensure the physical safety of these individuals, but what about their mental health? Some individuals are capable of taking care of certain things such ass using the bathroom by themselves and eating, while others need assistance.

Another issue that these individuals face  is dealing with social distancing. Most of the events that take place the group will take a picture of everyone. The individuals are used to be grouped together and enjoying, if not tolerating, each other.

Now that people have to be six feet apart, meals being moved to rooms, events and gathers all cancelled that can be a big affect on the individual’s mentally. Staff who have been with the company for long periods of time have stronger connections with the individuals. Being that they have to change the way they interact with individuals can be a challenge as well.

Since the quarantine started, the company has lost a few of the individuals. Due to the high numbers in deaths because of COVID-19, funeral parlors are fully booked and are not available to provide funeral services for the individuals that have passed.

Families of these individuals will not be able to give their loved ones a proper funeral. None of these individuals contracted the virus, but they still will not get the burial that they deserve because of the virus.

Since the quarantine was put into effect, the employees themselves have had a few changes to their schedules as well. Staff member are required to receive special training sessions for working with the individuals.

All training is mandatory for all staff that deal with the individuals. Once they learn CPR and SKIP training, they are registered for two years before they have to come back and retrain. Since the quarantine started, all training sessions have been cancelled.

This virus has also affected the main office workers. To ensure the safety of workers, the staff that work in the main office have destinated days to be in the office. Weekly cleaning of the office went from once a week to now twice a week.

The main people who are taking this pandemic the worst are the individuals. This change has been a lot for them to handle all at once. If the city continues to shut down, will this become the new normal for these people?

As easy as it is for people to adjust to this new change, it may not be so simple for others. Especially people with disabilities.